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Types of Cannabis: Sativa, Indica and Ruderalis

Indica Sativa Ruderalis

There are tens of thousands of distinct cannabis varieties, each unique growth characteristic. They are Sativa, Indica, Ruderalis strains of cannabis.

There are three distinct sets of genetics within the Cannabaceae family of plants (to which all cannabis cultivars belong) described by these designations, each with its own set of characteristics. Helping farmers make educated decisions about what they want to cultivate and the preparations needed to acquire the ideal cannabis for them.

Importance of understanding the cannabis subspecies

Cannabis is a much-diversified plant that you can break down into thousands of strains, dozens of classifications, and even numerous species. Navigating the legal cannabis market might be difficult if you don’t know where to begin since each subspecies has distinct qualities.

Commercial sectors, such as agriculture and textiles, will benefit from specific subspecies, while medical markets benefit from others. Before putting up a cannabis investment portfolio, it is critical to understand the underlying distinctions between the various strains. Knowing what a business is trying to accomplish and how it can affect its product lines and services in the future is an invaluable skill.

In light of this, we’ll examine the three varieties of cannabis: Sativa, Indica, and Ruderalis. You can now build a solid understanding of the legal cannabis industry’s primary product around this knowledge.

The difference between Sativa, Indica, and Ruderalis

To learn the difference between Sativa, Indica and Ruderalis, see below:


  • Appearance

It is endemic to tropical climes, where long periods of strong sunshine are the norm and may grow six meters tall. Sativa strains have adapted to their habitat by developing big pointed leaves with minor markings. The nodes are spaced 3–6 inches apart on their spread branches.

  • Characteristics of growth

When it comes to Indica vs. Sativa, Sativa can tolerate more significant humidity levels than their cousins. In contrast, Sativas take longer to blossom, necessitating ample area. A competent grower and a well-prepared greenhouse or grow room are necessary to cultivate the Sativa subspecies.


  • Appearance

Indica strains are the complete antithesis of Sativa strains in almost every way. It has a more compact branch structure and grows to a lower height. The leaves are also smaller, with more comprehensive, somewhat marbled fingers, making them easier to handle. Indica strains resemble a tiny Christmas tree with enormous leaves at the base.

  • Characteristics of growth

Indicas, on the other hand, are more susceptible to mold growth when exposed to high humidity. Because of their shorter blooming time, they are a popular choice among home gardeners. Harvesting may be done more than once a year in a controlled environment (such as an indoor grow room).


  • Appearance

There are a few branches and a fibrous stem on Ruderalis plants, midway between the Sativa and Indica strains. It is relatively uncommon for them to reach a maximum of four feet in height. The Ruderalis subspecies, native to Central and Eastern Europe and Asia, have developed an ability to thrive under challenging conditions.

  • Characteristics of growth

The blossoming of the subspecies is the primary distinction between Ruderalis and either Sativa or Indica. When the seasons change, a cannabis plant often transitions from the vegetative phase to the blooming phase. However, the Ruderalis subspecies have evolved an in-built timer for blooming, independent of seasonal fluctuations, because of Europe’s reduced sunshine intensity. The amount of time the plant spends in the vegetative stage before it automatically flowers is determined by genetics.

Ruderalis are crucial for breeding autoflower seeds.

Cannabis types
Visual representation of Cannabis sativa, indica and ruderalis leaves

What are the best subspecies to invest in?

This is a complex subject since no one subspecies is better than another. It’s impossible to generalize the effects and applications of all of them. Poor genetics and care will always lead to a defective product, whatever the subspecies. A well-maintained Ruderalis may be more lucrative than a Sativa that is neglected. One of the most important considerations is a company’s capacity to produce and the expertise of its farmers.

You now have a much better grasp of the distinctions between Indica, Sativa, and Ruderalis. There are several factors to consider when a grower is selecting a strain. Sativa and Indica dominate the cannabis market, but Ruderalis has a role. Knowing how each variety grows is essential to boosting grower confidence, whatever of the kind you choose to farm.

Picture of Ed Rushford

Ed Rushford

Ed Rushford’s impact on cannabis growing is undeniable. Though he tends to focus primarily on 2 areas, plant training techniques and dealing with disease, pests, and other problems, he has offered many insights into how cannabis plants live and grow. That’s not to say that Ed is unfamiliar with the complete life cycle of cannabis, from seed to harvest, but he uses his widespread knowledge to hone in on the minutia and niche areas of growing cannabis. Ed’s goal is to spread knowledge and allow for everyone to become better growers. About this Author

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